Robert Downey Jr. Dishes on the Design Vision of Joe Nahem
Collaborating with mentor Joe D’Urso on the Interior Design Hall of Fame member’s own home in East Hampton might be the highlight of any designer’s career. And perhaps it is for Fox-Nahem Associate’s Joe Nahem, but Anthony Iannacci’s new monograph Fox-Nahem: The Design Vision of Joe Nahem includes a forward by another prominent client—Robert Downey Jr. And it’s effusive: “Mrs. Downey and I have enjoyed a remarkable collaboration with the entire Fox- Nahem team. We’ve been pushed out of our “comfort zone” without losing our personal sense of style, taste, or dignity,” Downey Jr. writes.
Nahem launched his firm more than 30 years ago with his late business partner Tom Fox. Now with a staff of 10, Nahem collaborates with a slew of other Hall of Famers, including Charles Gwathmey, Steven Harris, Richard Meier, Anabelle Selldorf, and Robert A.M. Stern. The just-released book features a selection of 15 of his projects, from townhouses and penthouses to weekend retreats. Nahem’s residential work spans the country, in locales including Martha’s Vineyard, Greenwich, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Key West, Miami, Palm Beach, and Aspen. “Decorating is intimate and personal,” Nahem says. “As a designer, you must be able to let go of your ego and design a personalized space that reflects the people who live there.
For his part, Downey Jr. couldn’t agree more with Nahem’s assessment. “Joe is almost always right in his design decisions without being unreasonable or smarmy,” he adds. “It’s been an education to say the least.”